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My Thoughts on Trillian Astra
Sep 10th, 2009 by Babs

<div class=\"pavatar\">My Thoughts on Trillian Astra</div>

I have forgotten how long ago I began using Trillian. I know that I started using it back in the days of the Oliverettes, when some of us where on ICQ and others were on AIM. Trillian helped me keep tabs on both camps.

Over the years many have found other networks to expose themselves on *laughs* and Trillian has been rarely used. In fact, each time I did run it I’d have to update it — and Trillian doesn’t do many updates. A couple of days ago, however, someone asked me if I used Skype. Being the type who wants to keep as much as I can in one place (it’s the ADD) I checked to see if the most recent update came with the ability to incorporate Skype. It didn’t. However I did accidentally learn about Trillian Astra, which does.

In addition to the traditional chat clients Trillian worked with, Astra can now incorporate Facebook, Twitter, and Skype — at least for 30 days. After that you have to cough up $25 ($10 if you have Trillian Pro) if you wish to continue using it for web based IMs. :P

Astra comes with its own chat client, which you have to set up before you can add the others. Importing ICQ and AIM contacts was easy, as was setting up Twitter, Facebook, and adding Skype. It’s default interface is pretty. You can either simply change the color scheme or completely change the skin — you can even use older Trillian skins, if you have a favorite.

Unfortunately, that’s where the goodness ends. My first issue was when I learned I had to run Skype alongside Astra, which kind of defeats the purpose of incorporating Skype within Astra. Then there was the problem with adding Skype contacts. I had to add them via Skype, itself. When the preteen accidentally closed the window for the chat I was in and I couldn’t get it back up, I began to wonder if Astra is really worth it.

How it works with Twitter isn’t much better. It shows the most recent tweets, with a “link” below to obtain ten more. Unfortunately, no matter were I position the interface, the top tweet is always cut off. And I still have yet to figure out how to go back further, so if I happen to be away for a few days I’m fucked. Replying is easy. Just double click the tweet you wish to reply to. It brings up a window (which conveniently has a recent tweet from what I assume is one of Astra’s sponsors) were you can type in a response. You can keep the window open if you want to post more tweets. That can be rather problematic if you have more than one Twitter account, however: multiple windows (and they all use the icon associated with Astra!). :P Private and retweets require a little more effort. You have to right click the tweet and make your selection from a dropdown menu. Would you believe it took me two hours to figure this out?

Forget about Facebook. While it does show you everything that’s going on on your home page, you can’t always reply to it. Unlike Twitter Astra takes you to Facebook to reply.  Some days I click the link and it takes me to my friend’s wall. Others it just takes me to their profile page. WTF?

The older versions of Trillian are no longer supported. Sadly it appears support for Astra is not much better. Reading reviews on CNET indicate a failure to respond to customer (as in they paid for the software) complaints. And there are many. Astra is very buggy — especially in regards to video. So, save the $25. I’ve already gone back to using Skype’s software, and Seesmic for Facebook and Twitter. Both are free and both are far easier to use.

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That was easy
Apr 1st, 2008 by Babs

Aside from figuring out how to remove the date from the posts and changing the background color of the blog (which I think may be an image), Maxwell’s writing blog is up and running. Until I’m certain the other themes we’re looking at will work with the upgrade, we’re sticking with a slightly modified Kubrick layout. As a test I copied and pasted Chapter 1 of Links. I discovered that I can change privacy settings per post, and can even password protect them (this will be great for those original stories Max wishes to share just with friends). I’m not going to bother using WordPress’ import option as there are only a few things to move over currently. I also already know that I’m going to have to fight with changes to way the posts look anyway so, yeah.

In other news, TS2 University and Bon Voyage arrived yesterday. Note to self: to avoid drama from boys, get mail before they come home. I’ve never heard so much bitching and whining over Mom treating herself. University has been installed and one teen has already been shipped off. What happens if the parents don’t have any money? :( I guess I’ll figure that out once I get around to playing Sims State. Tomorrow Bon Voyage will get installed. Dear Gods! How does one keep track and rotate through all the places?!

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*braces self*
Mar 30th, 2008 by Babs

The Bishi Harem Fruitcake Co. online store is no more. I deleted it yesterday. Oddly, this was not as painful as I expected it to be.

Since the muses were on loan to me from Maxwell Pink, I returned them with a thank you in the form of the domain. Yes, from this day forward bishiharem.com will be the permanent home for my alter ego’s fiction archive. It’s not that I don’t trust Blogger, but between all the nonsense that’s been going on in the blogosphere as of late and the fact that I have 2GB of web space collecting dust, I decided to move the archive there for safe keeping.

I’m using WordPress for the archive. I installed it last night and began tweaking it this afternoon with the help of Lisa Sabin-Wilson’s “WordPress for Dummies”. To give you an idea of how dumb *I* can be, when I discovered the announcement of a stable update of WordPress I immediately implemented the upgrade even though Fantastico has no mention of it, yet. I did this partially because I wanted to get any upgrades out of the way before I started working with the software, partially because I know Jen harps about keeping our software up to date to protect everyone on DrakNet and this would make her happy. :) Of course now I’m working with a Dashboard that bears little semblance to the one in the book! Fuck!

Once I figure out where/what everything now is, make the site look pretty, and move, re-tag and upload fics I’ll let everyone know.

Now I’m wondering if I should’ve installed WordPress into its own directory so I could password protect it. *sigh*

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There’s one good thing about missing the Con:
Mar 25th, 2008 by Babs

Well, three things, technically. *holds up TS2 Free Time* I still have to wait for University and Bon Voyage to arrive from Amazon. Once I have those all I need are the remaining fashion packs (if I decide to get them, that is).

BTW, I’ve noticed that ever since I installed Night Life my Sims don’t seem to want to go to work/school anymore. It used to be they’d miss their ride, or the bus, if they were in the middle of something. I’m now frequently seeing them head toward their vehicles only to change their minds and say “fuck it!”.

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Bu-bye BitComet?
Sep 17th, 2007 by Babs

Today I finally got around to updating BitComet. In addition to looking a lot more snazzy (and, ironically, rather BitLordish), version .93 has a scheduler. I probably won’t use it, though, as I make it a habit to start up PeerGuardian before running BC. PeerGuardian doesn’t have a scheduler, though, and I refuse to set it to start up when Windows starts. The update also changed some of my settings and the site that I use to base them on is currently down. Has anyone else noticed an increase in sites temporarily not being available?

Anyway. To celebrate the upgrade I decided to get an account with a BitTorrent tracker site. I often have files that I want to share with others. I opted for “The Pirate Bay”. It seemed appropriate what with my Oliverette roots. Unfortunately, I discovered when creating a torrent file using BitComet, that BC adds a crap load of “padding”. I mean, the twelve files I wanted to share became 33 by the time BC was done creating the torrent file. Fuck!

I’ve been noticing that a good many of the folks who are “torrenting” with me use ?Torrent. This may be because my favorite file sharer uses Demoniod.com, who advocates ?Torrent, for their tracker, but I decided to give the client a try, anyway. I like the fact that it gives us dummies the option to automatically create settings based on our internet connections. I’m going to run it with the suggested settings for a bit and see if things speed up (Gods know when I tweaked my settings on BC to accomodate my now slower connection, things started taking twice as long). It took me a bit to figure out that I needed to create folders for the torrents and the downloads. Once I got that figured out, it became a cake walk. I even created an extra folder for my completed downloads to be automatically moved to so that I don’t mix them up with the incomplete ones!

I’m keeping BitComet at least until I finish uploading my share of the files I’ve already downloaded. Once those are done than I’ll start uploading torrents to “The Pirate Bay” and share the link to my account. ?Torrent has been set up as the default client now, so any new files will be handled by it. We’ll see how stable it is before I give BC the boot.

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